Gentoo secure over £470,000 grant from the Big Lottery

Following a rigorous application process Gentoo has successfully secured over £470,000 from the Big Lottery Fund for its Safety, Support and Crisis Team.

This successful grant marks a major achievement for the Group and will benefit some of the most vulnerable people in our city.

Currently Gentoo’s Safety, Support and Crisis team work directly with their most vulnerable customers including victims and perpetrators of domestic abuse, anti-social behaviour and those living with mental health, drug and alcohol issues.

Individuals who are identified by the service are allocated a key worker and provided with intensive support and access to specialist partner agencies.

Sunderland has almost twice the national rate of depression in adults and is among the worst areas of the country for hospital admissions relating to alcohol misuse and self-harm.  Each year in Sunderland around 6,000 cases of domestic violence are reported but it is estimated that between 11,600 and 15,600 people experience it each year.

With Gentoo’s current resource and the Big Lottery funding in addition, it will allow 655 vulnerable people to benefit from the service over the next 3 years including providing the service to non-Gentoo customers in the city.  It will also significantly reduce the waiting times for those wishing to access the services.

Michelle Meldrum, Executive Director (Operations) said: “The work of our Safety, Support and Crisis team with vulnerable people in the city is vital. Gentoo is committed to making a positive impact on people’s lives and the funding from the Big Lottery Fund will allow us to expand our service within the community. This includes employing two new Positive Engagement Officers and two new Victim Support Officers to identify those with support needs and develop support plans involving key partners. We are delighted that the Big Lottery Fund has recognised the importance and value of this service in the City.”

Lyn Cole, Big Lottery Fund, England Grant Making Director, said: “Without the right tailored support, people experiencing several complex problems like mental ill health, substance misuse and offending can fall into a downward spiral. This can cause more damage to themselves and to those closest to them. By providing support that focusses on their strengths, builds their self-confidence and the skills they have, they will be steered onto a more stable path towards a brighter future.”